On Thursday, September 8, Hostos Community College celebrated the start of the Fall semester with a Welcome Back BBQ held at Evelina Antonetty Park.
Held Thursday, September 8, the festivity brought together students, faculty, staff and members of the extended Hostos family, fostering connection and putting “community” in “Community College.”
Honored guests and community leaders Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr., Council Member Althea Stevens, and Assembly Member Chantel Jackson, were also in attendance to help us kick off the new term and offer words of encouragement to the Hostos Community.
Congressman Adriano Espaillat thanked President Daisy Cocco De Filippis for her leadership and praised Hostos’ students. “Especially those at home with children who couldn't be here today, and my kudos to all of you students seeking an education despite all of the challenges now,” he said.
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson reminded students that they were the next generation of leaders. “We need all of you to step up and not stand on the side as bystanders, but as upstanders to help us obtain true justice in the system and for all of us to prosper. We need to fight for equality and justice,” she said.
Council Member Rafael Salamanca acknowledged the College’s role in supporting the community, and Council Member Althea Stevens, whose daughter graduated from Hostos in Spring '22, said she was "looking forward to a year of learning and knowledge,” adding: “This is where we find greatness, when we start college." 
It was a beautiful day filled with laughter, community support, and reunions. In short, it was the perfect kick off for the new semester.